Saxophonist Jukka Perko’s interpretations of Finnish hymns have touched audiences for a whole decade. Albums Kaanaanmaa (2002) and Maan Korvessa (2008) have become landmarks. After hundreds of small ensemble church concerts of matchless beauty, it is time to seek new horizons with a fresh group of players. The jazz-rooted Perko and Teemu Viinikainen find themselves side by side with guitarist Jarmo Saari, often found boldly sailing way outside the musical mainstream.
Avara face the fundamental questions presented in hymns with a soulful simplicity. At times their search for truth and beauty leads into places one can only find by getting lost. Audacity and humility, respect for tradition and search for new ideas, austerity and overflow, acoustic and electric – trio throw themselves into the stream of these opposite energies only to emerge with a fresh view on the familiar.Teemu Viinikainen
Viinikainen’s strengths lie in his ability to concentrate on the essential and to recognise his limits. These and other unique musical talents enable him to live in the moment and plunge into the flow of music, unafraid to swim against the current. Viinikainen creates a musical landscape that appeals to the ear – his music invigorates the listener.
For composer and musician Jarmo Saari (born 1970), music stands for interaction, love, adventure and constant risk-taking. This unique guitarist has carried out his musical vision with the likes of percussionist Trilok Gurtu, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, singer-songwriter Anna-Mari Kähärä, saxophonist Michael Brecker, actor Esko Salminen, director Mika Kaurismäki, prog legend Pekka Pohjola, Finnish rock band Don Huonot, Tero Saarinen Company and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra.
Saari paints sonic landscapes with his electric guitar, often enriched with electronic effects, human voice and different lesser-known instruments such as the theremin and glass harp. His visual composition style is evident in his works for theatre, cinema, contemporary dance and television. As an artist he feels it is his duty to dive deeper and aim higher in spite of danger, savouring every moment. Jarmo Saari is a true new-generation craftsman, working with his feet on the ground, hands in the dirt and head in the clouds, on his way to outer space.